Content brands vs branded content: the concept appealed to me. The iMediaBrand Summit opened with a very exciting keynote this morning in Biarritz in the South West of France. Andrew Davis (picture below) taught us not to focus on branded content anymore, and build content brands instead. Sound advice.
Let’s build content brands not branded content
We are swimming in data, linkedin, data base, Big data , data you wish you had some you didn’t. But marketers are withdrawing nice insights from very small data Andrew Davis told us today. Yet the marketing pie isn’t getting any bigger. The CMO pizza is shared among a growing number of things for we have, over the years, added so many things, we are overwhelmed.
We have added websites, and SEO and promotions and advertising and then we have had social media, so all budget ended up being sliced up but the marketing budget isn’t getting any bigger. “So what is the ROI for this?” Andrew asked. We need to be able to measure it.
We have CPC, CPM and CPA etc. but what we have at the end of the day is a very shallow understanding of our marketing actions and their impact. What we need, according to Andrew is a new way of looking at the world.
And I liked very much what he said about how marketers should look at the world.
Marketers should look at the world in a different manner
We look for intelligent insights which shape our marketing initiatives but to do that we have to challenge the basics of marketing understanding.
Like the funnel for instance. The funnel was invented in 1898 by St Elmo Lewis (above). Lewis didn’t draw a funnel though, he drew a scale. A lot has changed since then but much of what we so is still based on this 1898 knowledge though.
Let’s rethink the funnel
To this end we need a new world view. The old world view is Ptolemy’s, Andrew said, whereby we were the centre of the universe. The way we brought people to our websites was like this but we need to adopt a Galilean view of the universe now.
“We are just a small planet revolving around the Sun” Andrew Davis said. It’s hard to swallow for marketers to understand they aren’t the most valuable thing in the world though. Google has become central to people’s world today and our Websites has become lost in the middle of nowhere. As a result, the insights aren’t going to come from us but from the embracing of a Galilean model, from “acting as a customer” he added.
As a result, marketers should “stop asking themselves the wrong questions. This is why we have to rethink the customer journey. And it’s not one way. It’s a number of loops.
People don’t buy in a linear fashion, they go round in circles and look at all sort of things and come back and back … or not. “54% of all B2B customers know who they want to work with (72% for consumers) before they have even started to engage with a vendor” Andrew said. It’s a moment of truth, sales has changed, forever.
Clever brands want to get “into the loyalty loop” Andrew said and focus on the moment of inspiration and “the insights that you need for this is the data you already own”. It’s not coming from the data you buy. Andrew quoted the example of Bart Van Olphen who had trouble selling his sustainable fish to his clients, so he wrote a book.
It wasn’t that successful, so he created a channel “Fish tales” with 15 second video snippets entitled the world’s shortest cooking show and became a star. People would download his recipes and go to the supermarket in droves. Then customers wanted to see the recipes and then he was asked to post longer versions of his videos.
His whole pipeline was completely transformed because he was inspiring his clients’ clients and people even started buying Fish Tale branded products. From a business which started with amateur videos in 2013 and a failed book in 2010, it turned into a $20m valued business.
Andrew’s conclusion is what I liked most: “So let’s stop building branded content, let’s start building content brands!” he said.
Andrew Davis is not only energetic and enthusiastic. His simple tips for marketers are some which should be listened to by all of us and adhered to. Big questions to unearth simple insights and build content brands
what audience can we own? Get rich, target a niche and subdivide an audience that’s worth owning and then work from there. Think fractal marketing and subdivide your markets into smaller chunks which are more manageable and easily addressed.
Like Andy Schneider, a backyard Chicken farmer. “When you market at everyone you don’t get anyone“. He is nicknamed the Chicken whisperer and he toured the United States creating a business with over $2m lifetime customer value just with 10 visits to stores with 150 passionate people for each meeting.
Define the right moment with micro day parts, moments when people most think about your products. Let’s ignore click-through rates and make our content more valuable.